POMONA, CA – A team of undergraduate students from The Collins College of Hospitality Management (CCHM) took 2nd place in the 2019 Smith Travel Research (STR) Student Market Competition from a field of 25 teams. The event took place during the HX: Hotel Experience (Trade) Show in New York City.

For the competition, the team of Hospitality Management students Emily Fedorchek ’22, Heather Kingsbury ’20, Devon Lilley ’21, Sean Mayor ’22, Marissa Robledo ’22, and Natalie Thé ’20 spent months researching and analyzing the Seattle hotel market before presenting their insights on the future trends to the event’s judges.

The students found that Seattle has been a very dynamic hotel market with significant growth in both lodging supply (from high-end boutique hotels to the new 1,260 room Hyatt Regency) and demand.

Despite recent supply growth overshadowing demand, the students concluded that hotels were still good investments as the recent negative trends would likely reverse. They based their positive assessment on an expanding convention center, the continued popularity of Seattle’s tourist attractions and as a cruise ship port, the continued expansion of Amazon in downtown Seattle and into Bellevue, and the expected uptick when Boeing ramps-up airplane production in Renton. The team was especially bullish on the Bellevue sub-market.

“The students’ second-place win solidifies our position as one of the leading hospitality programs in the nation,” said Dean and James A. Collins Distinguished Chair Dr. Lea Dopson. ” I couldn’t be prouder.”

This is the first time The Collins College had a team participate in the event. Associate Professor Linchi Kwok and Professor Margie Ferree Jones served as advisors. The team also received support from Carolina Sanchez, BS Business Administration (MHR) & Masters Public Administration; Eric Sepulveda, BS Communication; Hank Jones, Kallenberger Jones & Co.; Bruce Baltin, CBRE; Troy Jones, Ernst & Young; and Tiffany Jassel, Seaview Investors, MS in Hospitality Management.

STR is the leading data analytics provider for the lodging industry. Since its debut in 2015, the STR Student Market Competition has received significant attention from the hospitality programs around the world.